December 10, 2010
Provincial Government Provides $5 Million in Support
Amalgamation of Fogo Island
To strengthen municipal services, address financial constraints and
better position themselves for the future, the Fogo Island Regional
Council and the Towns of Fogo, Joe Batt’s Arm-Barr’d Islands-Shoal Bay,
Seldom-Little Seldom and Tilting, today signed a Memorandum of
Understanding to form one municipal entity to be known as the Town of
Fogo Island. The Provincial Government will contribute approximately $5
million in support of the incorporation.
"Today marks a historic day, and speaks to the tremendous level of
collaboration in coming together for the benefit of residents of Fogo
Island," said the Honourable Kevin O’Brien, Minister of Municipal
Affairs. "The agreement will create a new governance structure which
will consider the needs of all communities on Fogo Island, ensure the
new town entity begins in a strong financial position, and will provide
opportunity for strengthened municipal services for the region."
The agreement includes payment of approximately $4.8 million to write
down combined outstanding debt, a grant to develop a town plan, funding
for a new soccer field, and funding to cover transitional costs for the
transfer of assets and other associated merger expenses.
"I commend all those involved for their hard work, and commitment in
recognizing the needs of their communities and joining forces to become
a new stronger unified town," said Derrick Dalley, MHA for The Isles of
Notre Dame. "This new partnership will eliminate debt for Fogo Island,
and introduce a more coordinated approach to municipal service delivery
for the entire island."
Harry Hallett, President of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador,
said that bringing these towns together shows the dedication and
cooperation that exists on Fogo Island. "Our Community Cooperation
Office (CCO) played a key role in this process as we worked with the
towns in facilitating meetings and assisting with the administration,"
said Mr. Hallett. "We reviewed the local governance structure on the
island and met with the individual councils to discuss a new approach.
Over time our role expanded and MNL became the primary liaison between
government and municipalities."
The previous municipal government structure for the approximately
2,700 residents included four town councils and a separate regional
council. The amalgamation to become one municipal entity is at the
request and agreement of the regional council and four town councils.
"This is an important step for creating unity on Fogo Island, and we
look forward to working together for the benefit of all residents," said
Andrew Shea, Mayor of Fogo.
"This is a great day for residents of Fogo Island, and we are proud
to be a part of this effort to secure a brighter future for the island"
said Gerald McKenna, Chair of the Fogo Island Cooperation Committee. "I
look forward to working with the other representatives to take the next
steps to elect a new council which will represent the best interests of
"As Mayor of the Town of Joe Batt's Arm, Barr'd Islands and Shoal
Bay, I feel that this is a monumental day for the residents of Fogo
Island, and marks a new opportunity for us all to work together as one
entity for the economic development and prosperity of the future of Fogo
Island," said Mayor Ed Combden.
To ease transition, under the agreement a new governance structure
will be introduced with an elected town council comprising nine members
which will include two representatives from Fogo, two from Joe Batt’s
Arm-Barr’d Islands-Shoal Bay, and one representative from each of the
following: Tilting, Seldom-Little Seldom, Stag Harbour, Island Harbour
and Deep Bay. An election for the ward councillors is expected to be
scheduled for February 2011, followed by incorporation of the Town of
Fogo Island shortly thereafter.
"Today is indeed an extraordinary one for Fogo Island, as we begin a
new and exciting era in municipal government," said Gary Dawe, Mayor of
the Town of Seldom-Little Seldom. "We are looking forward to working
together to make our island community more economically sustainable."